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Displaying items by tag: Coastwatch

#Coastwatch - There's still a week left for Coastwatch volunteers to participate in the annual Coastwatch Survey for 2015, which this year has a special focus on the new Dublin Bay Biosphere.

Since 15 September volunteers have taken on one or more 'survey units' – 500m of shore – to do an 'eco-audit' of Ireland's shoreline at low tide. Details are available HERE.

It's hoped that the survey will break the 1,000-unit barrier by the last day next Thursday 15 October – while also encouraging the public to experience the particularly low spring tides at this time of year, revealing much more of our vibrant marine biodiversity.

Such discoveries could even be record-breaking, like the massive honeycomb reef found by Coastwatch volunteers in the Waterford Estuary this past summer.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Biodiversity - Coastwatch volunteers taking part in events for National Biodiversity Week have discovered a massive honeycomb reef as much as a kilometre long in the Waterford Estuary.

Members of the public began checking the shore between Hook Head in Co Wexford and Annestown in Co Waterford on Monday 18 May, an area that has previously shown signs of honeycomb reefs.

But volunteers were astounded to make this latest massive discovery, and Coastwatch members are working to ascertain if it might be the biggest reef of its kind in the world, a record currently held by Saint-Malo in Brittany.

Karen Dubsky of Coastwatch Europe said "first results look very encouraging. We are looking for more surveyors to give an hour and search their shore."

Events continue till Monday 1 June for Ireland's National Biodiversity Week 2015, with today (Friday 22 May) being International Day for Biological Diversity.

Upcoming flagship events include a marine wildlife-watching trip to Lambay Island next Wednesday 27 May, but the event calendar lists a whole host of activities both around the coast and inland throughout the country.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#CoastwatchSurvey - Last year's hot summer resulted in an increase of discarded drinks bottles around Ireland's coastline, according to the results of the latest Coastwatch survey.

The Irish Times reports on the findings of the Autumn 2013 coastal count, which concluded in mid-October - and the outcome shows some correlation between the unusually warm and sunny summer months that brought people to the seaside in droves, and an increase in both plastic and glass bottles littered on the shoreline.

The survey results also confirmed the rise in the numbers of jellyfish in Ireland's warming waters, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

#COASTAL NOTES - Coastwatch Ireland has urged for the plastic bag levy to be applied to sanitary products, balloons, lighters and other disposables that can be harmful to Ireland's marine wildlife.

The Irish Times reports on the call from the environmental network's Irish director Karin Dubsky at yesterday's launch of the findings from the recent 25th anniversary survey of Ireland's coastline.

As reported on Afloat.ie in October, the month-long volunteer survey took in use of land and shore, water quality, pollution levels and marine wildlife and plantlife.

More than 18,000 drinks containers - mostly plastic bottles - were found by volunteers on the 3% of Irish coastline sampled for the survey.

And despite a 50% fall over 14 years, sanitary waste such as condoms and dirty nappies were still a problem on beaches.

While suggesting a broadening of the plastic bag levy, Dubsky also called for a 'deposit on return' scheme for drinks containers to reduce letter and encourage recycling.

The survey also reported more positive news, with nitrate levels in outflow waters below detection in half the surveyed areas for the first time since 1993.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#COASTAL NOTES - The remains of a leatherback turtle were among the finds reported by 'citizen scientists' taking part in the Coastwatch survey of Ireland's coastline, according to The Irish Times.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 'eco audit' marked the 25th anniversary of the first nationwide Coastwatch survey, taking in use of land and shore, quality of inflow water, waste and pollution, and selected coastal and marine wildlife and plantlife.

The survey period concluded at the weekend with an event at the new Tralee Bay Wetlands centre attended by Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan, close to one of the rare discoveries by survey volunteers in the shape of honeycomb worm reefs.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
21st September 2012

Wildlife Beach Walk in Salthill

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Irish Wildlife Trust teams with the Galway Atlantaquaria to host a wildlife walk on Grattan Beach in Salthill tomorrow Saturday 22 September.

Starting at 3.30pm at the lifeguard hut, the free walk will look at the plants and wildlife found in seashore habitats on Galway Bay and around the west coast of Ireland.

Families are especially welcome, and nets and buckets will be provided for adults and children alike to explore the rock pools.

Staff from the Atlantaquaria will be taking along a selection of sea life from their undersea bounty.

And it might also be worth taking the opportunity to get involved in Coastwatch's ongoing 'eco audit' of the Irish shoreline, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The Galway Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#COASTAL NOTES - Coastwatch is appealing to the public to get involved in a country-wide 'eco audit' of Ireland's shoreline.

The Irish Times reports that the survey marks the 25th anniversary of the first Coastwatch audit of the coastline of the island of Ireland.

Coastwatch's latest survey got under way this week. It takes in use of land and shore, quality of inflow water, waste and pollution, and selected coastal and marine wildlife and plantlife.

Co-ordinator Karin Dubsky said: "This is citizen science which empowers people and is relevant locally and internationally to improve coastal zone management, highlight issues and implement the new EU marine directive."

The survey and guide notes can be downloaded by anyone from the Coastwatch website, and completed questionnaires can be submitted by post or online.

Published in Coastal Notes
#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Evening Herald has highlighted the work of a new union of wildlife protection groups which is training volunteers to act the event of serious environmental threats to Ireland's sea bird population.
Wildlife rescue volunteer Pauline Beades from Garristown in north Co Dublin has been working with Ireland's animal groups to change the official approach to wildlife - particularly birds - that get caught in oil spills.
The Irish Seal Sanctuary, Birdwatch Ireland, the ISPCA, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), Coastwatch and Irish Wildlife Trust have written a joint "letter of comfort" for the Irish Coast Guard, which is the State body charged with dealing with coastal oil spills.
The groups have pledged to work together in the event of any oil spill that involves a threat to marine wildlife.
Their response plan involves an initial wave of volunteers walking beaches to gather affected animals and providing first aid, followed by transfering them to veterinarians in specialised field hospitals, as well as facilities for longer-term care.
Last weekend Beades helped train volunteers in Limerick, who also attended lectures and demonstrations from visiting wildlife rescue experts from Europe to prepare for any potential sea-borne wildlife emergency.

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Evening Herald has highlighted the work of a new union of wildlife protection groups which is training volunteers to act the event of serious environmental threats to Ireland's sea bird population.

Wildlife rescue volunteer Pauline Beades from Garristown in north Co Dublin has been working with Ireland's animal groups to change the official approach to wildlife - particularly birds - that get caught in oil spills.

The Irish Seal Sanctuary, Birdwatch Ireland, the ISPCA, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), Coastwatch and Irish Wildlife Trust have written a joint "letter of comfort" for the Irish Coast Guard, which is the State body charged with dealing with coastal oil spills.

The groups have pledged to work together in the event of any oil spill that involves a threat to marine wildlife.

Their response plan involves an initial wave of volunteers walking beaches to gather affected animals and providing first aid, followed by transfering them to veterinarians in specialised field hospitals, as well as facilities for longer-term care.

Recently Beades helped train volunteers in Limerick, who also attended lectures and demonstrations from visiting wildlife rescue experts from Europe to prepare for any potential sea-borne wildlife emergency.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Ballyvergan marsh is under threat after the discovery of an illegal pipe being used to drain the wetlands area, claims Coastwatch.
The Irish Times reports that the environmental group has called for immediate action over the draining of the marsh near Youghal in Co Cork.
Cork County Council has also confirmed to the paper that a letter regarding an "allegation of unathorised development" has been sent to the landowner.
The marsh at Ballyvergan is one of the largest on the south coast, and is zoned as a special amenity. It is also an important breeding site for migratory birds.
Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch said that the situation highlights the deficiencies in State policy regarding Ireland's wetlands.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Ballyvergan marsh is under threat after the discovery of an illegal pipe being used to drain the wetlands area, claims Coastwatch.

The Irish Times reports that the environmental group has called for immediate action over the draining of the marsh near Youghal in Co Cork. 

Cork County Council has also confirmed to the paper that a letter regarding an "allegation of unathorised development" has been sent to the landowner.

The marsh at Ballyvergan is one of the largest on the south coast, and is zoned as a special amenity. It is also an important breeding site for migratory birds.

Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch said that the situation highlights the deficiencies in State policy regarding Ireland's wetlands.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Coastwatch has claimed that a ministerial order for the protection of sand dunes in Co Wexford is being breached, The Irish Times reports.
The order was made in January by former environment minister John Gormley to protect the Tinnaberna dunes from damage due to the storage of cattle over a number of years.
But the environmental group says that "dung, contaminated sediment and massive weed cultures remain" on site, and highlighted concern over its close proximity to a stream which flows into the sea near bathing water.
However, the National Parks and Wildlife service said its ecologist is "happy" with progress made on clearing the dunes.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Coastwatch has claimed that a ministerial order for the protection of sand dunes in Co Wexford is being breached, The Irish Times reports.

The order was made in January by former environment minister John Gormley to protect the Tinnaberna dunes from damage due to the storage of cattle over a number of years.

But the environmental group says that "dung, contaminated sediment and massive weed cultures remain" on site, and highlighted concern over its close proximity to a stream which flows into the sea near bathing water.

However, the National Parks and Wildlife service said its ecologist is "happy" with progress made on clearing the dunes.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Page 2 of 2

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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